Designer Door and Window Takes Great Care To Select the Best Suppliers

21.07.2016
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A reliable manufacturer and supplier are vital to build a strong business foundation, and Plano-based Designer Door and Window attributes its recent growth to both.

The suppliers that have supported Designer Door and Window are Milgard and Ohio-based ProVia.

“We don’t want to install our products just to go back and be fixed,” said Steve Barron, owner of Designer Door and Window. “For us, it’s important to build partnerships with our manufacturers and do as little purchasing through a distribution network as possible.”

Barron said both suppliers bring the same culture to their boardrooms and manufacturing plants. “Like us, they put the customer first,” he said. “Our number one goal is to serve the customer to the best of our ability and make it right. It’s very important to mesh those cultures.”

Both suppliers established their relationship with Designer Door through different paths.

Designer Door and Window pursued ProVia after the previous owner of DD&W had contacts with the company. The “courting process” during which both companies examined each other carefully took about 18 months.

“At that point, we realized this was a great partnership, and we have been growing in leaps and bounds each year,” said Barron. “This year we just set a huge volume sales milestone with ProVia, and it was an extreme challenge to reach that benchmark.”

ProVia manufactures entry, storm, and patio doors, as well as a variety of windows.

“The customer knows what quality is, and when they see the ProVia products in our showroom, it’s a no brainer — they sell themselves,” Barron said.

“All we do is ask the appropriate questions to make sure this is what the client really wants, and we make sure that we educate the customer about the pros and cons. We want to be up front, and have no surprises.”

Conversely, Milgard pursued Designer Door and Window as a retail partner.

“Milgard came into Texas looking for a good cultural partnership, with an eye toward putting the customer first,” said Barron. “They sat down with us and, again, it was a long dating process.”

The “vetting process,” includes getting to know everyone, from the product designer to the show foreman to the executives. Barron also wants to learn the supplier’s long-term goals and whether they have staying power.

“We want to look at their intent for selling their products in Texas, their long term goals,” said Barron. “We get as high up in the executive chain so we can look them in the eye – and that includes the company president, and the CEO.”

“In the 30 years I’ve been in the business, I’ve seen this more times than I care to admit,” Barron said. “We would go partner with a manufacturer, and two years later they would pull out of the state.”

This means customers who purchased those products can’t be serviced because the parts are no longer available.

“Here we’ve made promises to our customers, and we struggle to fulfill them….if we even can fulfill them,” said Barron. “It has left me skeptical of any manufacturer moving into Texas, which is a different market than other economic areas of the country because it’s very strong. So, are they coming in for a short period of time to grab the money and get out?”

Tacoma, Washington-based Milgard, which manufactures doors, siding, and windows, answered that question by building a plant in suburban Grand Prairie.

“We were pleased to see that,” said Barron. “We got into their dealer council and became one of the dealers who sits on their advisory council so we’re always in the loop and know what’s going on.”

Designer Door and Window invites you to visit the showroom at the northwest corner of Parker and Custer Roads (2109 W. Parker Road, Suite 202A) in the Dallas suburb of Plano. To request a consultation or quote, call (972)424-0031,e-mail steve@designerdw.com or debby@designerdw.com. For more information, visit www.designerdw.com.

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